Smoking meat that is. I know brisket, a rack of ribs or a whole turkey certainly fits the bill, but I can't imagine our paleo ancestors intentionally smoked meat. I would almost think that smoking meat is closer to cooking over an open fire than inside on an electric range. Thoughts?
well our ancestors didn't smoke meat, but if the meat is cooked and nothing bad is put directly on it, i don't see a problem.
Smoking meat as a way of preserving it would have been a necessity at times the tribe would have less time to spend hunting or gathering, for example, when moving camps or as a precaution for long winters.
I think it's been established that various pre-industrial/pre-agricultural tribes did smoke meat, but there's still reasonable grounds to think that it might not be optimally healthy, just like high-temperature cooking in general. I'm sure early attempts at cooking involved searing meat, but there's reason to suspect that this might not be ideal, given the production of heterocyclic amines and advanced glycation end-products. Obviously in those cases we might also wonder whether these are worrisome when producted exogenously and not in the context of a high carb diet, but simply the fact that ancient populations did engage in it doesn't demonstrate that these factors are not damaging over a lifetime. Similarly, smoking meats has been shown to produce high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (for example, here and here).
My own policy is to try to slow-cook, smoke free as much of the time as possible, but I do occasionally indulge.
over at http://www.aihd.ku.edu/foods/plains.html you can read this
Foods of Plains Tribes
Arikaras, Assiniboines, Blackfeet, Cheyennes, Comanches, Crees, Crows, Dakotas, Gros Ventres, Hidatsas, Ioways, Kiowas, Lakotas, Mandans, Missourias, Nakotas, Ojibwas, Omahas, Osages, Otoes, Pawnees, Poncas, Quapaws, Tonkawas, Wichitas consumed plants such as beans (some taken from mice nests), buffalo berries, Camas bulbs, chokecherries, currants, plums, turnips, and animals such as antelopes, beavers, buffalo, deer, ducks, elk, hackberries, muskrats, prairie dogs, rabbits, raccoons, porcupines, prairie chickens, skunks, wolf pups. Bison supplied a variety of dishes: boiled meat, tripe soup perhaps thickened with brains, roasted intestines, jerked/smoked meat, and raw kidneys, liver, tongue sprinkled with gall or bile were eaten immediately after a kill. One version of Plains pemmican consisted of thin strips of meat, marrow fat and chokecherries pounded together.
Richard Irving Dodge, a career officer who in the late 1870s wrote his decidedly one-sided ideas about Natives in The Plains of North America and Their Inhabitants, had some interesting observations about plains wildlife. A hunter with no apparent concern about environmental management, Dodge tells about the plethora of animals he killed in a two-week period in 1872: badgers, various birds (cranes, grouse, hawks, herons, meadowlarks, owls, robins, quail, turkeys), buffalo, deer, doves, ducks (teal, Mallard, shovel-bill, Widgeon, butter-ducks, Shell drakes) elk, owls, raccoons, rattlesnakes. He also encountered bears (blacks and grizzles), cougars, pumas and panthers.1
- Richard Irving Dodge, The Plains of North America and Their Inhabitants (ed. Wayne R. Kime, Newwark: University of Delaware Press, 1989)
Taken from Devon A. Mihesuah, Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens: Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness (University of Nebraska Press, 2005)
http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/how/historic-crafts-and-skills/food-frontier has some great drawings.
How difficult is it to hang a piece of meat in a cave/on a branch over a fire? Any place that uses fire for longer time (like when it's a survival necessity for hunter-gatherers) smoking just begs to be done. Same as cooking in hot ashes or on hot stones. Our ancestors were smart, they figure out very fast how to use heat in a variety of ways.
I have seen a few shows on tv (discovery channel, Natgeo,etc) which showed tribes currently living a primal/traditional lifestyle and they smoke meat. As someone already alluded to, this does not necesarily mean its healthy. However the rub (pun intended) on this is that smoking might create carcinogens. So, the next logical question might be: what is the incudence if cancers in primal populations who smoked meat regularly? My guess is those rates are pretty low. Of course, the other dietary factors e.g. fruits and veggies, may offset the cancer risk. But i think its safe to say that paleo does not mean we onlly eat smoked meat.......so i wouldguess a paleo diet including smoked meat in normal amounts would be ok
For me part of the appeal of paleo is feeling, well, cave-manly. And personally, nothing evokes that for me quite like smoking meat or fish with my dad for 36 hours in our man-cave. Good times.
And, as long as you keep things pretty close-to-how-nature-intended (i.e. we make our own sauces, and use them sparingly), then all the better. Paleo is good for you, and the lifestyle should be fun too!
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